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Joakim Noah played with knee pain the second half of season

Apr 30, 2014, 2:15 PM EST

Joakim Noah AP

It is very Joakim Noah, very Tom Thibodeau, very Chicago Bulls:

Now that the season is over we are learning the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, the guy that was the fulcrum of the Bulls offense for much of the season, played through a lot of knee pain the second half of the season (according to coach Tom Thibodeau). You could tell Noah was hobbled in Game 5 Tuesday — a Bulls loss to the Wizards that ended Chicago’s season — but he would not come out.

After the game he opened up to Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com.

“There’s really no excuses right now. It’s been a long year and yeah, I’ve got things I’ve got to take care of,” Noah said. “My knee. My knee is bothering me. My left knee. I’m not sure what it is, but I was able to play today. I think I was limited a little bit. But it’s no excuses. I’ll check it out, find out what’s wrong and take care of it. And now, we’ve got a lot of time to take care of it.”

Noah then went on to talk about all the things he needs to work on this summer to get better as a player so he is able to lead the Bulls farther next season.

The interesting question is who will be Noah’s teammates in Chicago next season.

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